Effects of interleukin-6 on the metabolism of connective tissue components in rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts.
Ito A., Itoh Y., Sasaguri Y., Morimatsu M., Mori Y.
OBJECTIVE: High levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been found in the synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We undertook the present study to investigate the role of IL-6 in this disease. METHODS: We examined the effects of IL-6, in comparison with IL-1, on the biosynthesis of extracellular matrix macromolecules and of matrix-degrading proteinases in rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts. RESULTS: In rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts, IL-6 by itself enhanced the production of plasminogen activator, its inhibitor, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases, whereas it did not modulate the biosynthesis of precursor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (proMMP-1) (tissue collagenase), proMMP-3 (stromelysin), or connective tissue components. However, IL-1-induced production of proMMP-1 and proMMP-3 was preferentially augmented by IL-6. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that in RA, IL-6 may participate along with IL-1 in fine tuning of the catabolism of connective tissue components, by modulating the balance between connective tissue-degrading enzymes and their inhibitors.